Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Launch Of BebaPay by Google & Equity Bank + Press Release
The NFC-enabled electronic payment card is expected to revolutionize the Kenyan public transport. NFC standing for Near Field Communication technology, means payment can take place offline even when there is no power or network connectivity.
The launch is a form of re-branding since in May 2012 the card was introduced in Nairobi and was available for free from beba agents.
Below is the Press Release
Nairobi, 30th May 2013: Equity and Google today announced BebaPay, Kenya’s newest cashless innovation to make payments easy and more convenient for consumers and merchants. With BebaPay, bus passengers can sign up for a card and top up for free at Equity agents. Customers can also top up their cards via mobile money. BebaPay helps to overcome the problem of using cash and receiving the correct change when paying for public transport on the bus or "matatu". BebaPay is the first payments system of its kind for Kenya.
BebaPay makes it easy to pay for your bus fare and helps you budget and track your spending. All you do is swipe your card on the card reader in order to pay. You also get free SMS receipts and the BebaPay website makes it easy to budget and manage your expenses on your mobile or computer. You can get a BebaPay card for yourself, family members or coworkers. Bus conductors can use BebaPay on a Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled Android phone to accept payments from BebaPay smart cards.
Dr. James Mwangi, CEO, Equity Bank, says that “The BebaPay card is a first for Kenya and will change the transport industry when it comes to payment. It is a convenient local payment solution that makes it easy to budget and manage one's expenses on a mobile phone or computer”.
“Research showed that technology could help bus operators and passengers to ease the process of ticketing, so we’re pleased that Nairobi commuters can now enjoy the advantages of BebaPay”, says Joe Mucheru, Google Kenya Country Manager. “Using NFC is part of Google’s efforts to improve transactions for both businesses and consumers. NFC makes it easier for people to pay for goods and services, and gives merchants extra ways to connect with their customers using technology and the Internet”.
Lucia Atieno, a daily commuter who has been using BebaPay card for over 6 months, said “I now spend less on bus fares, since I can plan in advance how much money I need for a particular period of time. The conductors never leave with my change, which used to happen a lot if I forgot to as ask for it. Greatest of all, no more chunks of paper in my handbag in the name of receipts!”
Equity Bank and Google will be using affordable NFC-enabled Android devices that are available in Kenya and can be used for BebaPay. Currently BebaPay is only available at key bus stops such as Kencom House. Equity Bank is working on rolling out BebaPay to more locations over time.
Note: Android is a trademark of Google Inc.
BebaPay is an Equity product regulated by CBK, powered using technology by Google, a global leader in technology who bring their expertise in mobile and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
About Equity Bank
Equity Bank commenced business in Kenya on registration in 1984.It has evolved from a small Building Society, a Microfinance Institution; to currently the all-inclusive financial services provider which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and Uganda Securities Exchange.
Equity Bank Group is one of the region's leading banks whose purpose is to transform the lives and livelihoods of the people of Africa socially and economically by availing them modern, inclusive financial services that maximize their opportunities. While the Equity brand is associated with empowerment of un-banked & the poorly banked segment of population, the Bank has evolved to become an all-inclusive bank for all. With nearly 8 million accounts, Equity Bank is the largest bank in the region in terms of customer base. The Bank has operations in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Tanzania. www.equitybankgroup.com
About Google Inc.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more information, visit http://www.google.com/africa and our Google Africa Blog: google-africa.blogspot.com. You can also follow Google's Africa team on Twitter: twitter.com/googleafrica
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